This is a video of Dawn, Cali’s speech therapist, teaching Cali the pronouns him and her. No rocket science to this method of teaching. This activity reminded me of how easy it is to implement therapy into everything we do. Playing dolls is something Cali and Ava do daily. How difficult would it be for me to take ten minutes out of my “oh so important house priorities” and use it to play with the girls. I could either join in on their doll playing or initiate it myself. Either way, I now know Cali’s goal of learning to use pronouns appropriately and correctly can be taught while playing dolls.
If pronouns can be taught while playing dolls, just think of the many other play opportunities that can help teach this concept. This incidental teaching is not exclusive to fostering the understanding of pronouns. Use every day play to teach many concepts. For example:
1. Board games can be used for teaching: turn taking, sequencing (i.e., order of steps in the game), and other executive functioning skills.
2. Hide and go seek: counting (early developmental skill), problem solving (figuring out where the person is hiding), attention (staying focused on the game at hand)
3. Puzzles: turn taking, fine motor (fitting pieces together), prepositions (i.e, “put that piece UNDER the purple one”, “place your piece BESIDE the piece with the circle”, ect.)
The list could go on and on. Doesn’t matter what game, activity, or make believe play you are involved in, all that matters is that you take the situation and turn it into a teaching opportunity. Teach whatever your child is working on. Figure out what their goals are (more on goal setting to come…) It’s easy and will quickly become a habit in your day-to-day interactions with your child.